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FEBRUARY 2024



Chris Ford (he/him)

Williston Central School

Champlain Valley School District

What influenced you to become a school counselor?

That’s an interesting question. The reasons I became a school counselor some 25 years ago are far different than what keeps me excited about it now.  Back then my thinking was quite practical.  I had just left the outdoor industry and had an undergrad in Philosophy; not much to work with.  As I considered my options I thought about my skills and interests plus what was available to me in terms of training.  School counseling seemed like a good fit and I couldn’t be happier with how things have turned out.

How does the ASCA student standards (Mindsets and Behaviors) inform your work as a school counselor?

    How do I put this?  I would say the ASCA standards are embedded in our work, but our work is not driven by them.  Last year we did an audit of our practices and how they aligned with the Mindsets and Behaviors (which, honestly, we weren’t aware of) and found that our work is pretty closely aligned with the standards.  When you prioritize what students need and what is in their best interests it’s not surprising that we ended up in the same place.

    What are some of your favorite resources?

    The humans I work with are the best resource.  My fellow counselors, teachers, administrators, custodians, paras, librarians, parents, and certainly students all contribute to my learning and growth on a daily basis.  I remember more than 20 years ago I was at a regional meeting of school counselors and one guy said a student came to his office that day at a most inopportune time, he was juggling a million things…like we all do every day, and was not feeling it at that moment.  However, he stopped, listened, and ended up having a really important conversation with that student.  As someone who has a lot of balls in the air all the time, I have to remind myself of that regularly.  It’s a hard job and not always fun, but the students are why we are here.  Take the time, it’s important, for them and for you.


    What's your favorite part about being a school counselor?

    There is so much I love about this profession.  Working with high school students is just awesome.  They are interesting, interested, smart, funny, resilient, tragic, no day is ever the same.  There is always something new to learn.  One would think after 25 years it would all look the same, but that is far from the case. Students are different, schools are different, families are different, the landscape is constantly changing and I have had to change with it, which is a tremendous gift.  It’s also great to be surrounded by really smart, thoughtful, committed  people.  My colleagues are the best.

    What’s unique about your school community?

    Community is the key word.  Our motto is Excellence and Equity in a climate of Respect, Responsibility, and Pride.  Community permeates everything we do at CHS and it is palpable.  Visitors always leave saying they feel the strength of our community.

    What do you see as a top priority for VTSCA?

    I was excited to sign up for the AI workshop last week.  I think ongoing, relevant, PD opportunities that keep us in tune with the current realities of our students.


    December 2023




    Bob Hall (he/him)

    Colchester High School

    What influenced you to become a school counselor?

    That’s an interesting question. The reasons I became a school counselor some 25 years ago are far different than what keeps me excited about it now.  Back then my thinking was quite practical.  I had just left the outdoor industry and had an undergrad in Philosophy; not much to work with.  As I considered my options I thought about my skills and interests plus what was available to me in terms of training.  School counseling seemed like a good fit and I couldn’t be happier with how things have turned out.

    How does the ASCA student standards (Mindsets and Behaviors) inform your work as a school counselor?

      How do I put this?  I would say the ASCA standards are embedded in our work, but our work is not driven by them.  Last year we did an audit of our practices and how they aligned with the Mindsets and Behaviors (which, honestly, we weren’t aware of) and found that our work is pretty closely aligned with the standards.  When you prioritize what students need and what is in their best interests it’s not surprising that we ended up in the same place.

      What are some of your favorite resources?

      The humans I work with are the best resource.  My fellow counselors, teachers, administrators, custodians, paras, librarians, parents, and certainly students all contribute to my learning and growth on a daily basis.  I remember more than 20 years ago I was at a regional meeting of school counselors and one guy said a student came to his office that day at a most inopportune time, he was juggling a million things…like we all do every day, and was not feeling it at that moment.  However, he stopped, listened, and ended up having a really important conversation with that student.  As someone who has a lot of balls in the air all the time, I have to remind myself of that regularly.  It’s a hard job and not always fun, but the students are why we are here.  Take the time, it’s important, for them and for you.


      What's your favorite part about being a school counselor?

      There is so much I love about this profession.  Working with high school students is just awesome.  They are interesting, interested, smart, funny, resilient, tragic, no day is ever the same.  There is always something new to learn.  One would think after 25 years it would all look the same, but that is far from the case. Students are different, schools are different, families are different, the landscape is constantly changing and I have had to change with it, which is a tremendous gift.  It’s also great to be surrounded by really smart, thoughtful, committed  people.  My colleagues are the best.

      What’s unique about your school community?

      Community is the key word.  Our motto is Excellence and Equity in a climate of Respect, Responsibility, and Pride.  Community permeates everything we do at CHS and it is palpable.  Visitors always leave saying they feel the strength of our community.

      What do you see as a top priority for VTSCA?

      I was excited to sign up for the AI workshop last week.  I think ongoing, relevant, PD opportunities that keep us in tune with the current realities of our students.


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